Five Tips on How to Choose an Engagement Ring

Hello, beautiful! We have a very special guest post today by Nerissa, co-founder of Tesoro , a luxury diamond bar & style showroom. These tips are so helpful so share with your friends or signifgant others that would benefit from it. Enjoy! xo, Gigi


Diamonds.  How do I love you?  Let me count the ways….

Diamonds.  I can’t get enough, the sparkle, the beauty, I love them all!  But the most exquisite diamond you will ever own will be your engagement ring.  It’s THE ONE.  The diamond that’s full of meaning.  As co-founder of Tesoro Boston I spend a lot of time helping couples choose this most important piece of LOVE!  Most ladies and gents have a hand in picking out this symbol of love together.  It can be fun…and a little overwhelming.  With that in mind, here are my five top tips to take the stress out of engagement ring shopping.  Enjoy the ride!  And contact me with any thoughts or questions, I’d love to hear from you.  

1. Know Yourself, and Your Style!

There’s so much to learn and so many styles to choose from! So how’s a girl (or guy) to choose?  HELP!   The first two questions you should ask yourself are this.  

  • What shape diamond or gemstone are you drawn too?  

  • What’s your style aesthetic?  Fancy. Simple. Modern. Vintage.  

Narrowing down these two basic concepts before you start shopping can make a big difference!  Choosing a ring is as much about personal style as it is about technical beauty.  

2. Learn the Diamond Basics

The 4 C’s. They are a diamond’s modern day equivalent to a “report card”.   Yes, they’re important.  Learn about them.  Better yet, sit down with a jeweler you trust and let them educate you!  At Tesoro Boston we do this at our signature “Diamond Bar” over a glass of prosecco!  The options are endless and here’s the thing, you can’t learn everything about diamonds in the time it takes to purchase an engagement ring!  Enter professional here.

3. Trust the Professionals.  That’s Why We’re Here!

Relationships are SO important. Engagement rings and wedding bands symbolize the most important relationship in your life!  Who you choose to make those rings are just as important.  A jeweler can educate you on the pros and cons of ALL of your options, and there are many…natural diamonds, lab grown diamonds, natural gemstones, synthetics, and don’t forget metal type!  They can also help you determine your budget, which styles suit your lifestyle and help you design your ring.

4. Know Your Budget

We all want that show-stopping, jaw-dropping rock on our hand.  But, let’s face it.  You can’t eat it, live in it or drive it.  Having a clear budget can guide your shopping experience down the right path.  It can also help your jeweler narrow down the search!   Could there be anything worse than falling in love with a ring you can’t afford?  Keep your expectations realistic and you won’t be disappointed. Amazing rings can be found in every price range!

5. Choose for Beauty

Each diamond is a snowflake.  No two are exactly alike.  Some are sleepy and some pop, some are dull some are bright!  Bottom line, when you look down at your hand, you better love what you see!  We guarantee you will!

A Diamond Grading Report is an important tool in the first step of selection.  At Tesoro Boston we only offer GIA certified diamonds using this criteria.  But once we’ve narrowed down your options, our advice to you is this.  Simply LOOK at the diamonds.  Which one speaks to you?  Which diamond do you LOVE?  You can’t always choose who you fall in love with and the same rule applies to diamonds.  

In short, choose for beauty. You’ll be looking at this exquisite diamond for a long time.  Fall in love with what you see!

And remember, the most important thing when buying a diamond…

“Having an educated expert to guide you is the ultimate, luxury buying experience!”  

Happy Diamond Shopping!

-Nerissa Parisi-Hill, Tesoro Boston

 

5 Things Planning our Wedding Taught me

Hello, beautiful! I hope your week is going fabulous thus far. Monday I was able to play model for the day for Next on Scene Magazine's spring issue. I can't wait to see how the images come out. I was able to work with a group of fabulous boss babes. Anyway let's get to the bridal, shall we?

There is no secret that planning a wedding is not easy. It is truly bananas how much time goes into one event that goes by within a blink of an eye. Looking back on the planning of Ricky & I's wedding, we learned 5 valuable lessons.

1. Who our real friends are- Throughout planning & even after our wedding we found out who are true friends are. This isn't always the easiest lesson to learn & it is just a fact of life that friends will come & go but it was definitely eye opening. We are both extremely understanding people & always give others the benefit of the doubt but, any kind of relationship works two ways. 

2. You can't please everyone- You know that phrase, "You can be the juiciest peach but, not everyone likes peaches". It's true! I don't like peaches. But, really R & I tried hard to please everyone but, it got to the point where we stopped worrying about everyone else & planned our wedding for us. Yes, you want your guests to enjoy themselves but, at the end of the day we paid for our own wedding so it was going to be our way.

3. How well we work together under pressure- While planning our wedding as the big day approached we decided it would be a great idea to buy a house as well. (Hello stress) During this time we really learned how well (or not so well) we would work together. In our case we made a really great team. We kept open minds & communication. This just solidified our relationship even more than it already was.

4. Time management- Like I said R & I were crazy people by planning a wedding & buying a house simultaneously. We had to prioritize. I put blogging on the back seat for a couple of months to focus on our personal lives. We also tried to accomplish more tasks earlier rather than later so when we were looking at homes we had more time to put towards that. I made countless to do lists & was constantly re-prioritizing. This was so unlike me (when it comes to my personal life). I consider myself a "hot mess" (an organized hot mess) & save everything till last minute. This time in my life I couldn't do that.

5. Budgeting- As I mentioned prior R & I paid for our wedding by choice. We didn't want to complicate things for our family & if anyone wanted to contribute, we wanted them to contribute how they were willing & able. Having a $25,000 plus wedding & buying a house you can imagine that we had to get our finances in check. We stopped going out as much, every once of our disposable income went to our wedding fund. This was super beneficial in the long run as we have carried over these habits & we are comfortably able to pay our mortgage.

Well fash dolls these are a few valuable life lessons R & I learned while planning our wedding. It isn't an easy task but remember to breathe. Put it in perspective, this is just one day. It maybe one of the most important days in your life but your lifetime with your significant other means so much more than this day. Enjoy it as it only happens once. If you ever have questions please feel free to contact me thru social media or by email (check out the contact page). Till next time babes.

Stay Sassy & God Bless!

This one is for the Guys-Groomsmen Gifts

Hi Fash Dolls! We spoke bridesmaids gifts last week but we can't forget about the men!There is nothing quite like a bromance. Your fiancé's groomsmen are as special to him as your bridesmaids are to you. These are his boys. At this point you are probably able to laugh with them too! Not only does your man have a bond with his friends but I am sure you have swapped embarrassing stories about your guy, they have almost become your friends too. So don't forget to get them a little something something as a thank you for being apart of your  special day.

For our groomsmen gifts we bought the guys their shirt, tie, & pocket square to go with their suits. We hope that they will be able to use these items again or at least the shirt & tie. Check out a suggested list of other groomsmen gift ideas!

  1. Cuff Links- This is a pretty traditional gift but a great idea!
  2. Cigars- What guy doesn't love a good cigar?!
  3. Personalized Beer Mug- This is nice because it will defiantly get use & remind them of your special day.
  4. Flask- These can be personalized, leather, steel, etc!
  5. BBQ Grilling Set-Guys love cigars but they also love grilling.
  6. Personalized Cap Catcher Bottle Opener-I have seen a lot of these while getting ideas for our guys, it is a nice concept.

Well I hope that this has given you some groomsmen gift inspo! Discuss them over with your future hubby, I am sure he will be on board. Like I said last week Etsy is a great resource for your wedding, including bridal party gifts.

Till next time fash dolls. Happy Planning!

Stay Sassy + God Bless!

Gigi xo

This one is for the Girls-Bridesmaids Gifts

Hello lovelies! I hope the beginning of your week is  smooth sailing thus far. Are you planning your wedding or know a friend planning a wedding? I am sure one of the things on your (or your friends) to-do list is to get your(or their) bridesmaids a gift.

Your bridesmaids are your special gal pals. During the wedding planning process they have been through a lot with you: engagement parities, bridal showers, bachelorette parties etc. Not to mention the DIY projects that you have enlisted them to do. You have shared laughs & sometimes tears. Bottom line is these are your girls, your ride or dies. Yes, this is you & your significant others special day but you asked these females to stand up in front of a crowd with you. It would be nice if you made them feel a little special too!

I gave my girls sterling silver nautical knot bracelets from the etsy store BoxingFashion and bought their shoes for the wedding at DSW. Check the list below for other fabulous bridesmaids gift ideas.

  1. Jewelry- I think this is the most traditional gift! This can be earrings, necklace, or bracelet.
  2. Pay for Pampering- Hair, nails, makeup can be a lot. If you have the money in your budget it maybe nice to pay for your girls to get one of these done.
  3. Robes-I am sure by now you have seen the pictures on pintrest of girls getting ready in matching robes. This could make a nice gift that they will be able to use again. You can even get them monogramed.
  4. Drinking Utensil- I use the word utensil because this could be a wine glass, coffee mug, tumblr, water bottle, or travel mug! These will definitely make a nice personalized gift.
  5. Bag- This bag could be a clutch for the big day, a beach tote, or a cosmetic bag!
  6. Hanger- Get them each a special hanger with their name spelt out in wire.

As you have been on your wedding planning journey I am sure that you have discovered that etsy will become your best friend, a lot of these ideas can be found there.

Well fash dolls till next time!

Stay Sassy + God Bless!

Gigi xo

A Complete List of our Wedding Vendors

June 24th, 2016 was the best day of life thus far, I married my best friend. The day went off without a hitch. This couldn't have been accomplished with out our amazing vendors! If you are in MA here is a complete list of vendors we used which I highly recommend.

The center pieces & decorations were found at Michael's & Christmas Tree Shop. I also got a few things from Hobby Lobby. Each one of our vendors was fabulous. I had been in sales for 6 years and nothing drives me more insane than an over bearing sales person. Each vendor was easy going & a pleasure to work with, a lot of them even texted which was extremely convenient.

If you are a bride to be pay one of these vendors a visit or phone call, you won't regret it. Know someone getting married feel free to share this list!

Till next time dolls.

Stay sassy + God Bless!

Gigi xo

 

Bridesmaids Dress Shopping

You got the man, you have a wedding date, you have your wedding dress, but what about your girls? Don't get me wrong the day is all about you & your other half but keep in mind you asked your bridesmaids to be apart of your special day they should look & feel good too!
We got our bridesmaids dresses at David's bridal. I had one out of state bridesmaid but it made it easy to get all the same color because they had a large variety to chose from. You could also go to any bridal salon to find your girls dresses. No matter how big or small your bridal party is there is a few concepts you can dress them in.
The first & most traditional is to have all your girls wear the same dress & color. This creates a unified look which is a positive. But keep in mind it is hard to find something that looks good on all different body types.
The second option would be to pick one color & have the bridesmaids pick which dress they would like (with your approval). This is the way I went. I wanted the girls to get something they would wear again & was unique to them. But if you would like a more unified symmetric look go the more traditional route.
Lastly a trend I've noticed is picking  a color & ombre the dresses meaning each dress is a shade of that color from light to dark. This is defiantly a unique concept but super cool.
I remember I wanted to get everyone to go together which could be difficult to coordinate with your bridesmaid depending on their schedule. Also keep in mind that you are with a group of girls & that is a lot of estrogen. Everyone has different opinions. Stay true to your vision but try to have some consideration for your friends & family.
Happy Planning! Till next time dolls!
Stay Sassy + God Bless.
xo Gigi

Real Wedding Ceremony Tunes

June 24th, 2016 was easily the best day of my life. I said "I do" & married my best friend. Over the past year & a half we put in a countless amount of time planning this special day. It went by in a flash. I thought I had my i's dotted & t's crossed when it dawned on me 2 weeks before the wedding I had no clue what I was going to be walking down the aisle to, oops.

In a panic I had begun to research ceremony songs. I emailed my DJ asking a million & 5 questions. I had an idea of what I wanted but 2 weeks away from the big day I had to figure it out! Generally you need 3 songs for a ceremony: one the bridal party & family walks down to, the bride's entrance, & the recessional for when the bride & groom accompanied by the bridal party & family exits the ceremony.

See below our song selection for our ceremony.

  1.  Bridal Party- Only in Time (Instrumental)-Enya
  2. Bride- Canon D-Pachelbel
  3. Recessional- Wedding March- Fleix Mendelssohn

These aren't the only options you have to chose from! If you are a bride-to-be use this for inspiration. We wanted something more classical for the ceremony but maybe you & your spouse are more modern or contemporary. This is a special time & your day should reflect your relationship. We had our DJ play at our ceremony maybe you want a string quartet. The beautiful thing about planning your wedding is that it is about what you want! Don't be afraid to ask questions either, your vendors are there to help you.

Well dolls till next time! Stay sassy & God bless.

Gigi xo

 

Wedding Dress Shopping Tips

FullSizeRender Yes, I am the weirdo on the far left that had found the perfect dress for my fiancé and I's upcoming June 2016 wedding. I am accompanied by some of my lovely bridesmaids! Based on my wedding dress shopping experience here are my tips. Whether you have been dreaming of your ideal wedding since you were a little girl or are single I hope that you find these tips helpful for yourself or a friend.

Research!

When it comes to anything wedding related or making any major life purchase it is key to always do some research. I would first start by defining a budget. There is nothing worse than falling in love with something you can't afford. Next I would look to Pinterest for inspiration! Have an idea of what looks good on you and what style you are interested in. Look for particular designers you are fond of within your budget and the bridal shops that sell them.

Who Should you Bring?

Who and how many people you want to bring is entirely up to you! If you can handle a lot of different opinions open it up to your bridal party, sisters, mum, mother-in-law, and whoever else you want to bring. Maybe you would like a smaller entourage, your mum and sister(s) I feel like are always a must! It is what YOU are comfortable with, this should be a fun time.

Where Should I Go?

You remember that research you did? Use it! Set up appointments with bridal boutiques you found that carry the designers you are interested in. Maybe you want to go to "Say Yes to the Dress" NYC's salon Kleinfeld or maybe you want to stay local. It is your experience! I would suggest making at least 3 appointments with different salons. Avoid overwhelming yourself by only trying 8/10 max dresses for each appointment.

Keep an Open Mind!

Try to keep an open mind when you are shopping. I thought that I definitely needed buttons on my dress but, the gown I fell in love with didn't have buttons. Maybe you thought you had your heart set on a certain shape but, you might try another style that looks even better. You will know when you have found the dress.

Decide and Celebrate!

Say yes to the dress already! I literally found my dress at the first store that I had gone to. I went to another bridal salon after to try more and I still couldn't get my dress out of my head. Go with your gut and choose what makes you feel gorgeous! And of course don't forget to celebrate. Pop a bottle of bubbly and enjoy the fact you checked another big to do off of your list :)

I hope this helps! Till next time dolls. 

Stay Sassy + God Bless xo

 

7 Tips Your Wedding Photographer Wants You to Know

I had the pleasure of meeting Stephanie at a Boston Bloggers event a couple months back. She is a super talented photographer and has some excellent advice, enjoy!


Concord MA Watertown MA Wedding Photography Stephanie Rita Photo_0017Maybe you only have 44.7 days left until your wedding, or maybe you JUST got engaged and are in the beginning stages of getting ready for your wedding! My biggest tip when choosing a photographer is to make sure you love their photos AND their personality! They will be the one person you'll spend the most amount of time with on your wedding day! Even more than your spouse! Crazy right!

Once you hire a photographer, there are many little things you can do to help your photographer create those amazing shots on your big day. These tips ensure that photos will look clean and gorgeous! Cape Cod Buzzards Bay Wedding by Stephanie Rita Photo_0000

  • Most wedding gowns come on a standard white plastic hanger, which look good, but not the best. I suggest asking for (or gifting yourself) one of the personalized last name hangers or finding a cloth one that matches your wedding color scheme!
  • Clear your prep room of clutter! Pick one corner of the space where your girls/guys can leave their stuff. You’ll be happier if t-shirts, coffee cups and sneakers aren’t in your “getting into the dress” pictures.
  • Have your girls get into their bridesmaid dresses before you get into your gown. That way, when it’s time for you to get dressed, your ladies will look fabulous and the photos will look more put together!
  • If you and your fiance are planning to sit at a sweetheart table, make sure you can see past the flower arrangement or centerpiece on the table. If you can’t see past it, there’s a good chance your STURBRIDGE HOST HOTEL photography by Stephanie Rita Photo_0090photographer can’t see you, so keep it low!
  • When the officiant pronounces you "husband and wife", hold your first kiss for longer than 2 seconds! Regular kisses are so quick that sometimes it IS possible for your photographer to miss it! Count to 5! Make out a little! Don't be shy, you're married now!
  • Well before your wedding day, make a list of important family photos and pick a ‘point person’: someone who knows who is who, and knows the time/place of the photos! Family pictures will go faster and smoother if you aren’t all running around trying to find Uncle Bob!
  • And just because I love them: White string lights, lanterns or votives give a really nice ambience to your reception space and your photos! Just saying!!

KEENE NH Wedding - New Hampshire Wedding Photography - photography by Stephanie Rita Photo_0024There you have it! A few useful tips to help your photographer create the best photos they possibly can! We all thank you in advance :)

Stephanie of Stephanie Rita Photography, based in Boston, MA

www.stephanieritaphoto.com @stephanie_ritak @stephanie_rita

Tips on How to Pick a Wedding Venue

IMG_0328 Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life. Some have been dreaming of this day since they could remember. As a bride-to-be and going thru the wedding planning process myself I wish someone told me certain things that I want to share with you. Even if you are single I hope this helps you plan your future big day!

Congratulations if you are engaged! I bet is was the most magical moment. I am also sure that you can't wait to start planning. I myself couldn't wait to start and begun to look at venues a few weeks after being engaged. I had the man now I needed the venue and a date! Here are a few helpful hints if you are looking for a venue.

  1. Have a Conversation with your Partner

Like I stated prior most women have been planning their day since they were little girls. (Not me because I was a tom boy and preoccupied playing in mud) Although this is one of the most important days in your life so is true for your partner. First I would decide on a theme that represents you and your relationship. During this conversation I would also discuss the budget, how big would you like your wedding, destination or not, and when would you like to have it.

2. ResearchWIL0070

Research! Get on your computer and do your research. Look for places that represents your theme and is with in your budget. We looked at 5 venues before making our decision and that was enough for me. Researching before booking visits is important. The last thing you want to do is go see the venue of your dreams out of your price range. Throughout my research I found that most venues had their pricing accessible online and if they didn't they were out of our price range.

3. Visit

After doing your research I would narrow your list and book appointments to visit your potential venues. I think that 5 is a good number but definitely no more than 10. You don't want to get overwhelm yourself. We broke our visits up into 2 weekends. We visited 2 venues one Saturday and 3 the following weekend. The most visits I would book in a day is 2, 3 was a little overwhelming for me but if you can handle more, you go girl! Also decide who you want to bring to your appointments, we brought the mums but maybe you want it to be just the two of you. This is all about you & your honey.

4. Make a Decision

WIL0111Once you have seen all the venues compare them. We knew our venue was it the moment we met the owner of the establishment. She wasn't pushy, was down to earth, and knew what she was talking about. The price was right and it fit our personalities, it felt right the moment we walked in. When you know, you know-right? Once you make that decision it is like a weight is lifted! Then the rest of the planning can begin.

I hope this helps! Stay tuned for more to come.

Happy Planning xo